Organisations that conserve the UK


Governmental Organisations

Natural England - the UK governmental organisation with resposibility for the conservation of wildlife and the landscape. 

Aims to have a healthy natural environment that people can enjoy with sustainable management as a secure environmental feature. 

Activities include ecological research, providing advice and information on wildlife conservation, providing grants for conservation management and designation of protected areas (SSSIs, NNRs, etc.)

Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSIs) - designated by Natural England. Areas of particular interest because of their plants, animals, geological features or landforms. 

e.g. Dee Estuary, Cheshire

Owners of SSSIs are provided with an ideal management plan. Grants may be available to carry these out. Natural England can force the owner to sell the site. If an SSSI is damaged, Natural England can insist that the site is restored or do the work themselves and charge for the work. 

National Nature Reserves (NNRS) - designated by Natural England. Aims to secure protection and appropriate management of the most important areas of wildlife habitat, to provide a resource for scientific research and a resource for recreation.

Among the best examples of important habitats with complete communities of species and are usually SSSIs. 

e.g. Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire

Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) - designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. 

Owned/controlled by local authorities for the benefit of wildlife and the public. Protected from damaging activities with in and around the site. 

Marine Nature Reserves (MNRs) - designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

To conserve, provide opportunities for the study of marine wildlife and interesting geological and physigraphical features. 

e.g. Lundy Island 

Special Areas Of Protection (SPAs) - designated by Natural England. 

To help protect and manage areas that are important for rare and vulnerable birds. 

e.g. North Pennine Moors

Special Areas Of Conservation (SACs) - designated under the EU Habitats Directive. 

Provide rare and vulnerable animals, plants and habitats with increased protection and management. 

e.g. Dartmoor

Natura 2000 - (SPAs + SACs) 

Species Recovery Programme (SRP) - Run by Natural England.

To conserve particular endangered species. Activities depend on the species involved but can include habitat management, habitat creation, captive breeding and release as well as population monitoring. 

SRP species include the doormouse, the red squirrel, ladys slipper orchid (which became extinct in the wild in the UK, has now been bred by micro-propogation and reintroduced into suitable sites)

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


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